Shimkus’ greatest hits: climate change edition

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), who has said he wants to take over as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has consistently denied the broad scientific consensus behind climate change, often citing the Bible or grossly oversimplifying biology to back up his position.

Here are some of his most memorable comments on the issue:

  • “If we decrease the use of carbon dioxide are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere?” he said at a 2009 hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s energy and environment subcommittee. “We could be doing just the opposite of what the people who want to save the world are saying.”
  • At the same hearing, Shimkus said: “I want to start with Genesis:8, verse 21 and 22, ‘Never again will I curse the ground because of man even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood and never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done. As long as the earth endures, sea, time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.’ I believe that’s the infallible word of God and that’s the way it’s going to be for his creation.”
  • He continued: “The second verse comes from Matthew:24. ‘And he will send his angel’s with a loud trumpet call and they will gather his elect from the four winds from one end of the heavens to the other.’ The earth will end only when God declares it’s time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood.”
  • “Today we have 388 parts per million in the atmosphere,” he went on. “I believe in the days of the dinosaurs, where we had the most flora and fauna, we were probably at 4,000 parts per million. There is a theological debate that this a carbon-starved planet, not too much carbon.”
  • During another 2009 subcommittee hearing, Shimkus said, “When we breath in, we breath oxygen. When we breath out, we breath out carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is not a toxic emittent.”
  • “I believe that the climate continually changes throughout the millions of years that the planet has been here on earth and will continue to change. I don’t think we can control the emissions from China and India, nor do I think they have any desire to control them,” he told Think Progress in 2009.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), the current ranking Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee and another candidate for the chairmanship, has similarly contrarian views on climate change. And Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), generally regarded as more of a moderate on environmental issues, has been touting his own opposition to greenhouse gas regulations in an effort to become chairman.

Follow Andrew Restuccia on Twitter


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